Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Watching my son and his fiance sitting at the bar filling out applications and making resumes, I was filled with a sense of pride. Just a week ago they were basically out on the street in the freezing cold with no place to go, desperate for assistance and shelter. Today they are filled with a tinge of hope. Plus, alot of Mama's cooking. They each have plumped out a little and with that, their pale complexions have turned pink and healthy. So, now I am filled with a tinge of hope as well that they have learned a valuable lesson. Starting over is not fun...and it's going to take a lot of hard work on their parts, as well as mine, to get their young lives turned around.
I have also braved change and decided to seek a career with the Department of Developmental Disabilities in my area. It is an administrative position in a school for the mentally-challenged. I have longed to work with children in this genre for a long, long time. My years as a volunteer with the Special Olympics and being the caretaker of a mentally-challenged teen instilled in me an insanely amount of love for these young lives. I am hopeful of getting a further interview with the superintendent and moving forward with this goal. Who knows, with my background in nursing/social psychology, it may lead to working directly with these children and it would be the ultimate dream come true for me. Wish me luck!
It seems, however, in the midst of all this change I have forgotten to eat!! When I stepped on the scale this morning, I weighed 112 pounds. Hmmm. I have dodged comments at work about my appearance for a few days now, dismissing their concerns to the stress I've been under for the last week. It didn't really "dawn" on me that my nutrition had taken a plunge even though my clothes have been looser. So now I must change my eating habits as well.
Change, change, change.
I will admit, some days, when I don't feel so well, I would much rather bury my head beneath the covers and forget the day. Yet, it is those days that I fight the most not to remain stagnant. To quote Myles Kennedy once again, "Will I find some kind of conviction? Or will I be defined by what COULD have been?" It's easy to give up and give in some days but it's very difficult to look back and be regretful for lost opportunities on those days. Have you ever done that? Then said, "Oh, if only I did that. Maybe my life would be different today."??
Maybe it could have been. But, listen...you're not finished yet.
Neither am I.
Neither is my prodigal son.
Tomorrow morning, dig your feet into the ground, steadfastly and firmly, and fight for what you want.
Say this prayer with me:
"Dear Lord, please give me strength to face the day ahead, give me courage as I approach a hurting soul. Please give me wisdom with every word I speak and give me patience to comfort the weak. Give me assurance as the day slips into night, that I have done the best I can, that I have done what is right.
Give to my heart, Lord, compassion and understanding. Give to my hands skill and tenderness. Give to my ears the ability to listen and to my lips words of comfort. Give to me, Jesus, strength, selfless service, hope, to those I wish to serve.
And Lord, may I have a part, in some small way, to restoring faith and hope today. Let my work be all that I want it to be so I ask you, The Great Healer, to work through me."
God bless you all on your journeys to self-discovery.
It's truly worth each and every step...
Friday, January 13, 2012
I had not met Sabrina, my future daughter-in-law, in person before. We have chatted on Facebook, shared pictures through email and so forth but never in person. She and my son had lived 50 miles north of here and were planning a weekend visit soon as soon as my work schedule permitted. I was excited to get to know this girl. She seemed soft-spoken, kind, but she was someone who had seen difficult times...sad times...in her young life.
I had to be at work before she and my son arrived today. I almost called off but had already done so on Tuesday when I learned of their situation. In fact, I was already at work that day for only a few hours when I heard the news that they had been evicted and I raced out the door to go retrieve them. However, there were circumstances that prevented me from following through and the night was torment for all of us involved. The last two days have been the longest days of my life. Today, however, I went, knowing that the immediate need was being fulfilled and I left in peace.
Paul texted me at work and said that he and Sabrina had arrived safely, were warm, had eaten and that he and his father were reaching a small, yet vital, milestone in their relationship. I was moved to tears when the following text simply said, "I love you, Mom. So much." I was able to feel solace and then the excitement built from there...I watched the clock, longing for it to go faster until I could get home to feel his embrace, to feel his warm cheek against my own. I was vividly aware of how slow the hands of time seemed to move.
When I could finally say goodnight to my co-workers, I raced out the door into the vicious wind and whipping snow, bracing myself against the suddenly sour bad weather. Many employees were scraping ice from their windshields. My truck doors were frozen shut. Tossing my pocket book to the pavement, longing to see my kids a.s.a.p., I grabbed the door with both hands and with brute strength, I jerked it open while the others there laughed and shouted, "Wow, you really want out of here!" I shouted back, "You have noooo idea!" I got inside, turned the ignition and broke down in tears. My son and Sabrina and my coming grandchild could have been in this stormy weather tonight...and they would have frozen to death. Bowing my head, I prayed a loooong prayer of thankfulness. I thanked God for His mercy, His grace, His love.
Racing through my front door tonight I was dismayed when Brian said they were already asleep. I asked him why and he said that the last two days had taken alot out of them, I should let them rest. Probably so, but do you honestly think that I couldn't look in on them?? Peaking my head in my son's room, the same room he had spent countless hours in as a teenager, I saw him snuggled warmly under the blankets and I raced to him, grabbing his surprised weary body from the bed and I hugged him close. He hurriedly grabbed me back. In a sleepy, weary voice he whispered, "Oh, Mom, I love you so. Thank you." Kissing his forehead, I quietly left and peered down the hallway to Breanna's room where I knew Sabrina to be. Did I dare????
What do you think?
I stood above her and was quickly, vividly, aware of how tiny she was. Little spindly arms and legs were peeking out of the blanket...but her cheeks were pink, warm, and she breathed softly in and out. I could not help it. I rubbed her little arm and whispered, "Sabrina?" Her eyes opened and at first she seemed disoriented but then...
The smile that broke across her face was the most beautiful smile I have ever seen IN MY LIFE. Sitting up in a flash, those soft skinny arms grabbed tightly around my neck and she began to cry, little soft hiccups that were barely there. I said, "Hi, baby, I'm Paul's mom." She said, "Oh, yes, I know who you are. You don't have to tell me. I know who you are." We embraced for a long time. I coaxed her to lie back down and she gleamed at me, not taking her eyes from my face as I wrapped the blankets once again around her little frail body and I said, "Sleep, angel. You are safe. You are warm." Grabbing my hand before I turned to walk from the room she said, "I love you." I kissed her forehead as well and said, "I love you, too, baby. I love you, too."
Before I made it to the living room, I was in tears. Joyful tears. There is no feeling in the world like the one knowing your children are safe and warm. The wind outside is howling angrily, the cold is biting...but it does not have my children. Not tonight. And as long as I have breath in me, it never will. I fought so hard to get them here. I had to lose a few things along the way but there is NOTHING that will ever be more important to me than my babies. I will give my own life if it will save their own. My wings of motherly love are larger than this world and nobody messes with my kids. Nobody does. Nothing does.
God is so good. Yes, many a battle awaits us. Many bumps in the road. Many heartaches again, perhaps. But let me tell you one thing...God is here, in this house, tonight, with His everlasting love and forgiveness.
We are uncertain about the future. We don't know what's around the corner.
But we are together.
Together we'll find a way.
And God is the Master of it all.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
To all who have prayed for me, I thank you. To all who have prayed for my son and the circumstances that surround him, I thank you deeply. Oh, so deeply, from the bottom of my heart.
He is coming home. If only for just a little while. To the warm heat of my home, where there is food and water, shelter from the cold, snow and rain. To a place where there will be a spot for him to lay his head for the night. The road to independence will be long, the path to confidence will be even longer... but I will be here. I will do my best to give him guidance. I will stand strong in the face of fear and exhaustion to show him that I love him. But most importantly, I want him to see that the love of Jesus Christ is eternal. No matter what he has done, no matter where his young life leads him, I want him to feel the Lord beside him, every step of the way.
To say that he has not hurt me along the way would not be truthful. But a mother is engineered with wings of forgiveness. Even during the most tumultuous times, I have managed to wrap my arms around him and tell him that I love him. I cannot help it. I will not forget it. I pray that he never forgets it either.
Not only is he coming home, but his fiancee, who is pregnant, will be joining us. That is a greater challenge. They will not be allowed to share the same room. There are going to be rules and expectations. I have made myself clear that although I love them I will not be defied in any way. I am fair but firm. I am here as long as they are respectful. Many have stated that they would not have taken the girl in...perhaps not, but I WILL. This girl has NO ONE. She was a foster child for many years in many different homes. She is a soul. A fellow human being searching for guidance and stability in her life. If I can give her that in some way, somehow, then perhaps she will find strength in her own. That is my fervent hope.
It's not about me. It's not about a hand-out. It's about loving others as God instructs us to do. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It's about giving God in the best way you know how.
I thought my world was crumbling to pieces yesterday. I was wrong.
It's just getting stronger.
Because God is right in the middle of it. I find strength through Him. I find love through Him.
I've learned to let Him carry me through.
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